• August 26, 2014 Regular Business Meeting 

    Discussion, Reports and Information Items

    Jacquelyn Anderson

    Clairece Cooke

    Katherine Bluhm

    Heights Lites: The School Board honored nine students from the Class of 2014 and Class of 2015 (three were able to attend) for being recognized for their college-level achievements through Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams by the national AP program.  School Board Chair Scott Bardell presented the students with certificates (click on photos above to enlarge).

    School Board Standing
    Committee/School Assignments

    Chair Scott Bardell
    Association of Metropolitan School Districts

    Liaison to City of Fridley
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Family Center
    Vice Chair John Larkin
    Minnesota State High School League
    Columbia Heights High School
    Clerk Missy Lee
    Liaison to City of Columbia Heights
    Highland Elementary School
    Treasurer Lori Meyer
    Educational Cooperative Service Unit
    Liaison to City of Hilltop
    Valley View Elementary School
    Director Ted Landwehr
    West Metro Education Program

    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    North Park Elementary School

    Director Laura Palmer
    Minnesota School Board Association  
      Legislative Liaison

    North East Metro Intermediate District 916
    Columbia Heights Business Council
    School Board Policy Sub-Committee
    Columbia Academy

    Jacquelyn Anderson, Class of 2014, and Jeremy Lopez, Class of 2015, are AP Scholars of Distinction. Class of 2014 graduate Bridget Ebert and Class of 2015 Senior Clairece Cooke earned AP Scholar with Honors. Katherine Bluhm, Nebiyu Kebede, La-Shalya Larson and Brenda Sanchez-Murillo, all Class of 2014 graduates, and Class of 2015 Senior Fernando Marquez, were selected as AP Scholars.

    By taking AP classes at Columbia Heights High School, the nine students accumulated college credits worth $113,000 at the University of Minnesota. The AP credits can be transferred to any accredited college or university. The 117 CHHS sophomores, juniors and seniors who took AP exams in May 2014 earned an equivalent of $151,000 in tuition credits at the University of Minnesota.

    Report highlights from the School Board:

    • Chair Scott Bardell attended the new Teacher Orientation and Induction; he also participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session. 
    • Vice-Chair John Larkin participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session and attended the new Teacher Orientation.
    • Treasurer Lori Meyer participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session.
    • Clerk Missy Lee participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session and had several conversations with constituents.

    • Director Ted Landwehr participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session and attended the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce Breakfast for new teachers at the District Center.
    • Director Laura Palmer participated in the Aug. 19, 2014 Work Study Session.

    Superintendent's Report:

    • Reported that the Administrative team participated in its annual retreat (Aug. 14 and 15), which focused on closing the achievement gap and creating college and career-ready graduates equipped with 21st century skills.

    • Shared that the "Scaling the Heights" new teacher three-day orientation (click on photo) included a focus on the Strategic Roadmap, community awareness and relationship building, evaluations and mentorships.  The Superintendent specifically thanked the Teaching and Learning Department for organizing the orientation as well as city officials, organizations, principals, directors and managers who participated.

    • Met with Columbia Academy leadership and faculty focusing on leadership transition issues.  Superintendent Kelly also met with Valley View Elementary School staff on leadership transitions.

    • Noted Monday, Aug. 25, was the first day all teachers were back in their facilities. 

    • Shared teachers had an in-service (professional development) Aug. 21 that focused on the topic of creating college and career-ready graduates equipped with 21st century life skills.  The day included a presentation followed by focus groups by grade levels or content areas.

    • Reported that the Star Tribune had named Valley View Elementary School (math and reading) and Highland Elementary School (reading) as 2013-2014 Beating the Odds schools.

    • Participated in the Aug. 19 Work Study Session, Chair meetings and conversations with individual Board members.

    Discussion, Reports, Information Items

    Anoka County Children and Family Council (ACCFC) Grants: Director of Community Education Kristen Stuenkel (left) and Director of Student Services Nicole Halabi (right) reported Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) received two ACCFC grants for the 2014-2015 school year. Director Halabi provided information on the “Improving Mental Health Services for Students" grant for $53,375. Director Stuenkel provided information on the “Opening Doors for English Language Learners” grant for $41,759.  The second grant is a collaboration between CHPS, Fridley Public Schools, Spring Lake Park Public Schools and Metro North Adult Basic Education.

    Facilities Projects Update: Director of Finance and Operations Bill Holmgren presented the School Board with an update on Facilities Projects.  He presented updates and photos at each facility (three photos shown below), which can be viewed by clicking here for the PowerPoint.

     New flooring in Columbia
    Academy Music Room
    New serving line at Valley
    View Elementary School
    Remodeled fourth grade
    North Park Learning Lab


     School Students
    Highland ES 566
    North Park ES 469
    Valley View ES 562
    Columbia Academy 693
    Columbia Heights HS 852
    As of Aug. 21, 2014 3,142

    Placement Center Update: Director of Student Services Halabi presented an update on the Placement Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Placement Center provides new families with a welcoming environment where they can learn about the District, register for school and find support for their educational, health and social needs. Director Halabi said that the Placement Center has processed more than 13,992 enrollment applications since its opening in 2004. The Placement Center, which is located in the Family Center (1440 49th Ave NE in Columbia Heights), has processed 3,142 enrollment applications as of Aug. 21, 2014 for the 2014-2015 School Year (see graph at right).
    Click here for the PowerPoint.

    Action Items

    Custodial Contract: The School Board approved an agreement between Columbia Heights Public Schools and the District's Custodial employees for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

    Child Nutrition Contract: The School Board approved an agreement between Columbia Heights Public Schools and the District's Child Nutrition employees for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

    School Board Sub-Committee on Board Listening Sessions: The School Board approved the Sub-committee on Board Listening Session recommendations.  They will start the School Board Listening Sessions in September.

    Key Dates:

    • Sept. 2: First Day of School for students
    • Sept. 9: Sub-committee on Policy Meeting, Superintendent's Conference Room
    • Sept. 9: Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Sept. 16: 5 p.m., School Board Listening Session
    • Sept. 16: School Board Work Session, Community Room
    • Sept. 23: Regular School Board Meeting, Community Room
    • Sept 30: Joint meeting with the City of Columbia Heights Council

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